Newport RFC : 1882/83 Season Summary

Season 1882/83

P21 W14 D2 L5: For 39g, 55t – Agt 6g, 16t

Capt :  Chas Newman

Chas H Newman (capt)

This was to be a new page in Newport’s famous history – it was the last for Charles Newman who had played in Wales’s very first match vs England in 1881 out of position at full-back. He was selected as the new Newport captain replacing the very successful Will Phillips who had retired. It was the first season for a player who was to become Newport and Wales’ first superstar – a certain Arthur “Monkey” Gould who was later called the “Prince of Players”. He was destined to become the greatest three-quarter rugby had ever known. He made his debut as a precocious and somewhat undersized 18yr old against Weston Super Mare on Nov 18th 1882 at Rodney Parade. Fred Dowdall had been selected at fullback but when groundsman John Butcher went to his house on Saturday he was told by his wife that he would be unable to play due to attending a funeral. Arthur Gould passed by and Butcher asked him if he wanted to play if Mr Richard Mullock and the captain agreed.

Arthur had always played at three-quarter but could tackle and kick and during the match the captain often said “Kick you young devil !”  when he decided to run. The young Arthur ran in 2 of Newport’s 3 tries and so impressed the committee that he jumped straight into the first team and stayed there for many years to come. Interestingly Gould was one of three fullbacks used by Newport that season with Fred Dowdall and G “Evans” Rosser with the latter playing a couple of matches before finally retiring following the previous season’s serious injury. He had played nearly 50 official matches for Newport and averaged just under a try a match.

Newport won the South Wales Challenge Cup for the second year in succession beating Newport Crusaders, Oakfield (Cwmbran), Abergavenny and finally Swansea in the final in front of 8,000 crowd. 400 supporters travelled from Newport to St Helens on a special train and when the victorious team arrived back they wer met by a jubilant crowd of bout 1,000 people. Chas Newman was chaired to the Kings Head Hotel where he thanked the crowd. Blackheath made their second ever visit but this time the score was much closer with Newport going down by 1 try to 2.

There were 14 wins during the season – Cardiff Wanderers, Oakfield Cwmbran (2), Bridgend, Swansea, Weston-super-Mare, Cardiff (2), Rest of South Wales, Neath with cup wins against Newport Crusaders, Oakfield (Cwmbran), Abergavenny and Swansea in the final. The two drawn matches were against Gloucester, Weston while the 4 defeats were at the hands of Gloucester, Halifax, Swansea and Blackheath.

GF Harding (18+), TB Jones (17+), FC Jones (17+) and T Harding (16+) led the appearances while FC Jones (9+), LO Jones (8+) and CH Newman (7+) led the try scorers. Arthur Gould scored 4 tries in his 13 appearances – also 1c and his very first of many drop goals – the start of his record 150 tries for the club.